Reviews of Tafika
They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa.
Great family run camp with long standing senior team members.
It is remote - a positive.
It is rustic - as described. A touch of 'old school' about it to keep the remote feel.
There will be frogs in your hut - completely harmless.
The hut is built around a tree and is open air in parts. All positives for the remote feel but not if you want something more pampered. But there is 24 hour electricity and hot water.
No mobile or wifi - a positive
Three nights in June at Tafika
Our guides were Isaac and Steve. Both were very good. The night before we arrived, the Tafika staff looked at our ages (provided to them by Expert Africa) and, because most of us are in our 70's, we were dubbed the "Madala Group" with "Madala" meaning elderly. That was fine with us.
Highlights of game viewing include a female leopard with a cub and a dead impala in a tree, a rookery of about five large trees filled with yellow-billed storks and their chicks with hungry marabou storks at the base of the tree waiting for scraps dropped by the chicks and a martial eagle attempting to have a chick for lunch, and a huge herd of cape buffalo. We biked with John Coppinger to the nearby Mkasanga School which is partially supported by the Tafika Fund. The children danced and sang for us and a youth choir from the Covenant Church sang and danced for us. Saw many puku antelope.
Seldom encountered vehicles from other camps on game drives.
There were often small frogs, some spiders, a small lizard or two, and some armored crickets (all harmless) in the guest units. They were not a problem for us but some might flinch a bit at such creatures.
We liked the fact that Tafika is a relatively small camp and we very much enjoyed going to Tafika's bush camps across the river - a short boat ride and a walk of about five hours but that could have been shortened if necessary.
Wonderful in every way. Issac was an exceptional guide. We saw lots of game every day.
Excellent food and lodging.
Same as ever [Ed: See review below from their visit here a few days earlier in this same trip.]Read more about the whole safari
Tafika - 4 nights
This is a very good camp, but for some reason it didn't make great camp status for us.
There is a very good choice of activity, which works well in terms of flexibility, the downside is that you have many different guides (we had 4 different guides in our stay). This means you don't get quite the same discussion and interaction that other camps provide with one dedicated person. Overall, this camp gave a less personal atmosphere than others on our trip.
We had excellent walks here - it's clearly a strong point for this camp and I highly recommend the experience. We chose to walk in the evening - shorter walks, but giving us more time and light for photography in the morning on drives, and this was very well arranged and delivered.
The charging facilities (in the main area) were a little erratic since not all sockets worked correctly. As a minor downside, the provided drinking water did not agree with either of us (not a serious problem, but anyone with a delicate constitution should be wary).
We really enjoyed our stay here and did appreciate the flexibility of activity, so do not take the feedback to mean there were any especial problems!
Return to Tafika again
Our third visit here, our favourite camp in South Luanguwa. A lot of people seem to return to this camp!
Don't really have much to say that hasn't been said before. We had fantastic walks and drives, you can even go on a bike ride if you wish, unfortunately the microlight wasn't available this time. A visit to see the carmine bee eater hide is to be recommended.
We particularly like the way guides stay with the camp for years, working their way up the ladder. This results in fantastic guiding, the best we have encountered. Excellent training plus all the local knowledge is unbeatable.
Can't wait to go back!
marvellous camp with great flexibilty
Some small changes to lights and lodges but remains unpretentious, comfortable, excellent food and great staff.
Walking guides are now more numerous so always a choice to use truck or to walk across the river.
Our favourite camp!
We have stayed several times at Tafika (and at many other safari camps through Africa), and it is top of our list.
One of the few owner managed camps still in the Valley, John, Carol and Bryan generate a warm and professional atmosphere, ably assisted by Heather and Rhona, and all the other camp staff.
The aircraft operated by Tafika and which took us from Lower Zambezi is strongly recommended. It may cost a bit more than ProFlight, but it cuts almost a day's travel down to an hour and a half.
We particularly appreciate that all the guides are local, often from the nearby village, and having often started in the kitchen or as tea bearers, have developed and passed their guiding exams.
Thank for a great stay - especially the hippos at Hippo Bend, and the mating leopards (not guaranteed!)
A fine example of responsible travel
John and Carol Coppinger set a fine example in the field of responsible tourism. The camp is just outside the National Park, set on the river bank. there are no water-based activities here, but on offer are 2 x4hour game drives per day, or small group day walks ( we did not try the cycling!).
The chalets are all made of local material, no electricity ( plently of re-charging sockets at the main lodge), but lit by solar lamps.comfy beds and we were not too hot at night. At the rear of the room, the bathroom and shower facilities are open to the sky - a hot shower under the stars was a wonderful experience! The rooms are well spaced, and the communal meals are tactfully organised so that everyone mixes well. The food was excellent on the whole, our only mild complaint was there was too much pudding!
We enjoyed the fact that the guides , and the management Staff ate with the guests. Every effort was made to suit the game viewing to our particular interests (eg, birding, photography). 4 travellers per vehicle, so everyone gets a good view. the afternoon drive includes the traditional"sundowner" and then gives you the opportunity for a couple of hours driving after dark.
The Park has excellent game and birds- hightlights were a leopard kill, hyena sightings by day and night, carmine bee-eaters nesting in their hundreds, crowned cranes flying in over the salt pans, following a pride of 10 lions on a hunt, and many cute baby elephants.
Walking tours allow you to see the smaller creatures- chameleons, insects, and also some close encounters with the larger animals. We felt very safe whilst on foot with 2 guides and an armed park ranger. The guides were all excellent.
We also learned such a lot about the life of the villagers from our guides. Remote Africa support many community projects, and provide employment for a substantial number of local people. this was not the most luxurious of the camps we visited - there's no wifi or mobile phone signal, but, of the 3 places we stayed, it's probably the one we are most likely to return to for a second visit.
See my earlier comments. Did not want to leave. [ Ed: See below! ]
Our thanks to everyone at Tafika .